Sgurr na Ciche September 2007

Helen Rose Hill Diary

As I near the end of the Munros, I find myself visiting mountains I have failed to conquer in the past. One of these is Sgurr na Ciche. This was my third attempt and fortunately I reached the top in lovely summer weather. It was a long day and I was out for eleven hours in total. The previous day had been very wet making the going underfoot tough on the very muddy path. Fortunately, the Sunday dawned dry although a little chilly in the glen earlier on. We have had a very cool and poor summer this year.

My first attempt at Sgurr na Ciche was two years ago when I climbed Sgurr nan Coireachan and Garbh Chioch Mhor. They are in Glen Dessary north of Fort William and access is by a long drive along this glen on a single track road adding to the length of the day out. They are within the rough bounds of Knoydart and access is possible from several directions.

On the day I first climbed I managed to go over the first two Munros but on reaching the coll leading to Sgurr na Ciche, we were running out of time as a meal had been booked so a decision was made to descend. As it was, we ended up having the meal at 11 p.m. and had an early start the next day to do Sgurr Mor.  I had to get by on five hours sleep to be up early the next day. People ask me why I do it and I have to admit the desire to finish these Munros sometimes gets in the way of common sense!

My second attempt was organised for me using a boat from Mallaig into Glen Nevis to Sourlies bothy and we were ready to leave Glasgow with all the outdoor gear packed when the boatman had to cancel due to high winds. Determined to bag this Munro, I hired a guide, Lindsay Boyd, and we did the walk in eleven hours as I expected. A friend of mine had offered to do the walk with me but I felt it unfair to subject him to a very long walk along a glen involving a stay of two nights near Fort William as he had already completed the Munros. Lindsay was very patient and encouraged me on as I was not feeling my best having a heavy cold.

The drive in was pleasant along the side of Loch Arkaig and we started the walk from Strathan. We then walked for a very long time along the glen eventually walking under the two Munros I had already climbed until we reached Feadan na Ciche, the chanter of the peak, an apt description if the wind were funnelling up it. It is a bouldery ascent up the narrow gully to the col. From the col it was up an eroded but easy path and on to the summit. From the summit, we had tremendous views over to the Sgurr of Eigg, the Rum Cuillin and also to Skye along Loch Nevis. When I looked back along the ridge to the other Munros I had previously climbed, it looked a very long way awau.

It was back by the same route and the long drive out. I managed to have dinner before 10pm as I had less  ascent not having to climb the other two Munros although the distance was similar.
Now I only have four Munros left to do and they are all at Glencarron


Coming attractions; Bidean Coire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor, hopefully! The last Munro and Musical Legends This Year!


Contact me at


Thanks to Frances Rickus and Lindsay Boyd for the photos